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"The Social Structure of Britain was totally destroyed during the Battle of Britain" Do you agree? Discuss.

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Introduction

- INDIVIDUAL HISTORY ESSAY - "The Social Structure of Britain was totally destroyed during the Battle of Britain" Do you agree? Discuss. During the period between 1939 and 1945, a ferocious and deadly war was being fought between two super powers, Great Britain and Germany. Germany had been on a vengeful rampage, threatening to take total control of Europe; only one hurdle remained, Britain. The high command of Germany, Hitler and Goering were confident of a swift and glorious victory, humiliating Britain. The social structure of Britain was going to be totally destroyed in a merciless attack from the air, paralyzing the nation. Despite German confidence though, this would not be the case and in a great turn of events Britain would turn the tide of war and begin the road to victory. Although Britain were the eventual victors, their social system came perilously close to being crippled. For months Britain, particularly London, had to withstand a sustained bombing raid which killed many and seriously dampened an already low morale. Precautions were taken and people had to endure shortages and rationing. All in all, Britain was able to make do with the circumstances and battle through the darkest period in its history before being ultimately realised as the triumphant country. ...read more.

Middle

Some would argue this as a victory because it ultimately led to the eventual result of the entire war. However, the battle came at a calamitous cost. Many lives were saved though by the efficient organisation, and precautions taken by the British government and public. Preparations for war began well before 1938 as Britain were afraid civilians would be targeted. The real threat was that Germany would use gas and as a precaution every person in Britain was issued with a gas mask. People were also instructed on how to deal with a bomb raid, precautions they should take and how to work around the effects these precautions were having. Britain's Secretary of State for Air cautiously described the impact of these precautions by saying, "The precautions taken were however, a huge burden on the country but it would be a grave mistake to relax them." (Shelters) On May 10 1940, Chamberlain resigned as Prime Minister of England and was replaced by the passionate and patriotic, Winston Churchill. He preached to the nation, "Whatever the cost and agony, we shall not surrender", in an attempt to rouse support and ensure public confidence. ...read more.

Conclusion

Life at one social level, the middle class, had been radically effected but this does not mean it effected all social levels, and so ultimately if one level of the social structure was destroyed another always remained and therefore it was not ever totally ravished. After two years, people's spirits had been tested in every corner of the country and "despite the devastation, neither society nor morale had collapsed". The people of London had endured total, merciless war, yet it failed to breakdown the vitality of Britain. There was not a complete collapse in social structure as Giulio Douhet, an Italian General, had suggested. The Home front had held and worked together to keep the nation stabilised, whilst still keeping up with the demands of the war effort. They hadn't been haltered by the vindictive offensive of the German Luftwaffe and remained strong in times of perilous desolation and agony. The experts had over-estimated the ability of the Germans and their High Command. Hitler's impatience and Goering's incompetence had ultimately thrown victory and dominance of Europe out of their own hands and into that of the British. It proved to be a major turning point in the war when Britain, began to step out of their shadows, and begin their prosperous road to victory. ...read more.

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